Russia to pay 30 % more to send oil via Ukraine to EU

Dec 29, 2009 01:00 AM

Russia and Ukraine signed an oil-transit agreement for 2010, averting a possible cut-off in supplies to Europe almost a year after a pricing dispute disrupted natural-gas deliveries to the region.
Russia agreed to pay 30 % more to transport oil to Europe via Ukraine next year, Valentyn Zemlyanskyi, a spokesman for Ukrainian state energy company Naftogaz Ukrainy, said.

Russia said it had notified the European Union and countries fed by the Druzhba oil pipeline, including Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic, of its talks with Ukraine under a so-called early warning mechanism. The mechanism was established in November to help prevent and manage energy crises such as the halt in Russian gas deliveries in January.
"The European Commission has been informed by the Russian government that there is no longer a risk of disruption of Russian oil supplies to the EU via Ukraine," the commission, the EU's executive branch, said. The mechanism has been a "useful communication tool," it said.

Russia said earlier it would maintain oil exports to Eastern Europe even if no new transit deals could be reached with Ukraine. The country's dispute with Ukraine in January over pricing and debt curbed gas supplies to at least 20 European nations.
Russian oil exports to Europe were interrupted in January 2007 when Belarus sought to tax transits.

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